PROMISE Project Advisory Committee Meets in Vientiane Capital

Capacity Building

Vientiane – On 8 February, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (MoLSW) convened the third National Project Advisory Committee Meeting under IOM’S regional programme – Poverty Reduction through Safe Migration, Skills Development and Enhanced Job Placement in Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Thailand (PROMISE).

This annual meeting provides a platform for partners to conduct a yearly review of implementation and key achievements under the PROMISE project, discuss specific challenges encountered and share the action plan for the next phase of a 4-year programme.  This year, the event brought together 30 participants (13F) from the MoLSW, relevant line ministries, Swiss Development Cooperation Agency (SDC), development partners and IOM.

Opening the meeting, Ms. Vanny Keoxayyavong, the Deputy Director General of the Skills Development and Employment Department (SDED), MoLSW, reiterated the target outcome of the project. “PROMISE aims to increase migrant workers’ recruitment and employment both domestically and abroad by enhancing their access to skills development opportunities in target sectors, which will lead to improved protection and greater poverty reduction,” she explained.

SDC’s Deputy Director of Cooperation, Mr. Christian Engler, added that PROMISE, in 2020, was able to take swift measures to address the emerging needs of returning migrants amid COVID-19. Ms. Zena Van Bemmel-Faulkner, Programme Officer at IOM, stressed the importance of pursuing a longer-term recovery plan from the pandemic, in which migrants – together with other groups in the society – are included in the planning phase. “A more migrant-centered, gender-sensitive and market-driven approach for inclusiveness of migrant workers will ultimately reduce the risks of labour exploitation and irregular migration,” she emphasized.

Participants discussed ways to effectively support and protect the migrant population as well as bring them in touch with employment opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused a crisis of mobility across the globe exposing mobile populations, especially women migrants, to health risks, irregular and unsafe border crossings and stigmatization.

In 2020, IOM rolled out various activities across Lao People’s Democratic Republic, including distributing information, education and communication (IEC) materials on safe migration and COVID-19 prevention to migrant populations, training government officials and engaging young people at skills development institutes in safe migration campaigns. In addition, direct assistance and livelihood trainings were provided to victims of labour exploitation to better support their onward journeys.

This year, the project will focus on labour market analysis, ethical recruitment, safe migration trainings, skills recognition and certification as key activities, with continued effort to adapt global skills development policies to the context of Lao People’s Democratic Republic. “We are also discussing ways to systematize the support processes to returned migrants at quarantine centres,” said Ms. Yunxian Annie Jiang, Project Officer at IOM.

PROMISE, now in its fourth year of implementation, is a cross-regional initiative that aims to promote poverty reduction through ethical recruitment and skills development, safe migration schemes, and enhanced return and reintegration mechanisms. The programme is generously supported by the SDC.

For more information, please contact Suhyun PARK at IOM Vientiane. Tel. + 856 (0)55 136 294. Email:

  • 30 partners gathered to review the implementation of the PROMISE project. Photo: IOM 2021

  • Participants sharing lessons learned from past implementation. Photo: IOM 2021

  • Ms. Yunxian Annie Jiang, Project Officer at IOM, presenting on the project’s 2021 workplan. Photo: IOM 2021